17 days in Japan Itinerary

17 days in Japan Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan journey planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Kanazawa
— 2 nights
Fly to New Chitose, Train to Kutchan-cho
2
Kutchan-cho
— 7 nights
Train to New Chitose, Fly to Kyoto
3
Kyoto
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Tokyo
— 2 nights
Fly

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Kanazawa

— 2 nights
An old castle town largely unspoiled during World War II, Kanazawa features well-preserved architecture spread across a range of districts.
Venture out of the city with trips to Shirakawa-mura (The Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go Gassho Style Houses & Shirakawago Gassho Zukuri Minkaen). There's lots more to do: admire the natural beauty at Kenrokuen Garden, don't miss a visit to Omicho Market, take a stroll through Higashichaya Old Town, and admire the masterpieces at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Kanazawa road trip planning tool.

Sydney, Australia to Kanazawa is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, tram, and train. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to Japan Standard Time (JST) is minus 1 hour. In January, Kanazawa is cooler than Sydney - with highs of 7°C and lows of 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel to Kutchan-cho.

Things to do in Kanazawa

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:

Kutchan-cho

— 7 nights
Kutchan-cho's reputation rests on two things: skiing and potatoes.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Kutchan-cho: Noboribetsu (Noboribetsu Bear Park & Jigokudani), Niseko-cho (Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area & Niseko Village Ski Resort) and Rusutsu Resort Ski (in Rusutsu-mura). There's much more to do: explore the activities along Otaru Canal, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery, hit the slopes at Niseko Hanazono Resort, and don't miss a visit to JR Otaru Station.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Kutchan-cho trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and train from Kanazawa to Kutchan-cho takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Kanazawa in January: high temperatures in Kutchan-cho hover around -3°C and lows are around -6°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Kyoto.

Things to do in Kutchan-cho

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 4 — 11:

Kyoto

— 2 nights
The national capital for over a thousand years, Kyoto retains much of the charm of old Japan, boasting numerous temples and shrines that seem completely untouched by the modern world.
Get out of town with these interesting Kyoto side-trips: Dotombori District (in Dotombori) and Universal Studios Japan (in Osaka). And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, take in the spiritual surroundings of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, explore the world behind art at Kyoto National Museum, and explore the historical opulence of Nijo Castle.

Plan my trip to Kyoto with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Getting from Kutchan-cho to Kyoto by combination of train and flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. While traveling from Kutchan-cho, expect warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Kyoto, ranging from highs of 10°C to lows of 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) to allow time to fly to Tokyo.

Things to do in Kyoto

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Theme Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:

Tokyo

— 2 nights
Tokyo holds the status of most populous metropolitan area in the world--a fact you'll find tangible as you walk the bustling streets and explore its diverse neighborhoods and cultures.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): admire the natural beauty at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, make a trip to Meiji Jingu Shrine, then make a trip to Shibuya Crossing, then admire the striking features of Tokyo Tower, and finally have some family-friendly fun at Owl Cafe Akiba Fukurou. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy breathtaking views from Tokyo Skytree, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Senso-ji Temple, and then wander the streets of Akihabara.

For maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Tokyo holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Kyoto to Tokyo takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. January in Tokyo sees daily highs of 11°C and lows of 1°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to fly back home.

Things to do in Tokyo

Parks · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:

Japan travel guide

4.3
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Land of the Rising Sun
Part of a volcanic archipelago that encompasses over 6,800 islands, Japan remains one of Asia's most fascinating tourist destinations, where a blend of modernity and tradition creates a look and feel completely different from any other place in the world. A tour of Japan lets you discover big cities filled with ancient temples and innovative skyscrapers, as well as quiet country landscapes dotted with castles, perfectly manicured gardens, cherry orchards, and primeval forests seemingly untouched by the hand of mass tourism. Many tourists on vacation in Japan devote lots of time to the country's unique cuisine, prepared with painstaking attention to detail and a genius for simple yet effective presentation.